Objectives: To systematically investigate the relationship between motor and non-motor symptoms, and health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) in children and young adults with dystonia.
Methods: In this prospective observational cross-sectional study, 60 patients (6-25 years) with childhood-onset dystonia underwent a multidisciplinary assessment of dystonia severity (Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale, Global Clinical Impression), motor function (Gross Motor Function Measure, Melbourne Assessment of Unilateral Upper Limb Function), pain (visual analogue scale), intelligence (Wechsler Intelligence Scale), executive functioning (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function) and anxiety/depression (Child/Adult Behavior Checklist). Measures were analyzed using a principal component analysis and subsequent multiple regression to evaluate which components were associated with HR-QoL (Pediatric Quality of life Inventory) for total group, and non-lesional (primary) and lesional (secondary) subgroups.
Results: Patients (29 non-lesional, 31 lesional dystonia) had a mean age of 13.6 +/- 5.9 years. The principal component analysis revealed three components: 1) motor symptoms; 2) psychiatric and behavioral symptoms; and 3) pain. HR-QoL was associated with motor symptoms and psychiatric and behavioral symptoms (R-2 = 0.66) for the total sample and lesional dystonia, but in the non-lesional dystonia subgroup only with psychiatric and behavioral symptoms (R-2 = 0.51).
Conclusions: Non-motor symptoms are important for HR-QoL in childhood-onset dystonia. We suggest a multidisciplinary assessment a motor aaa non-motor symptoms to optimize individual patient management.